Hanekom defends himself: It's much ado about nothing

By Doug Mattushek - 25 July 2019Views : 379

Derek Hanekom has finally defended himself after being thrown under the proverbial bus by the EFF.

Earlier this week, EFF leader Julius Malema claimed Hanekom met with EFF members, handed them a list of ANC MP’s who would vote against then-president Jacob Zuma and even stated that Hanekom had planned to form a splinter party.

Speaking to SABC News, ANC stalwart Hanekom claimed he had meetings with opposition MP’s all the time.

"I had a meeting with one member of the EFF at the time and when you're in Parliament you have such meetings all the time," said the former deputy minister of science and technology.

"I sat down and had coffee with one prominent member the EFF at the time, a meeting he requested, I should say. We discussed how to deal with difficult time in the country's history and there was no way I would refuse discussions of that nature. 2017 was a year in which we saw mass action...our country was in a crisis and we know all that centred around our then president.

"We requested that he step down in 2017 and we did not succeed and the NEC first meeting in 2018, it was the ANC that instructed Zuma to step down from office which was the right thing to do. In the course of 2017, the matter was in Parliament and we had to discuss how to best handle the matter. I must say it's a bit about much to do about nothing...parliamentarians speak to each other. I don't know what the fuss is all about."

While Hanekom confirmed the meetings, he denied that he had handed the EFF any kind of list pertaining to the hotly contested 2017 Nasrec conference.

"That I certainly didn't do, he will have to provide that list," he continued.

"There was an assessment of what we can achieve, and if done through parliamentary means, what the ANC attitude would be at that time...that was the nature of the discussion. Those discussions were happening and that is well known. Civil society, which I am also part for as chairperson of Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was demanding that Zuma step down at that point. I supported that demand and it happened."